Entries tagged with: Dan Boeckner

22 result(s) displayed (1 - 22 of 22):

by Andrew Sacher

photo: Operators at Central Park in 2014 (more by Amanda Hatfield)

Dan Boeckner's band Operators have so far released an EP and a a stand-alone single, and now they just debuted five new songs in a KEXP session (recorded in November). They're bold, danceable pop songs, unmistakably Boeckner's work, and should be instantly satisfying to any fans of this band or his songs in Wolf Parade, Handsome Furs and Divine Fits. In fact, these might even feel more spirited than that first Operators EP. Watch the video below.

Operators are also touring this winter into spring, including a NYC show on April 21 at Baby's All Right. Tickets for that show are on sale now. All dates are listed below.

As great as it is to have new Operators songs, our fingers are still crossed that Wolf Parade will return. They've been on hiatus since 2011, a year after the release of their still-excellent third album Expo 86. Last year was the tenth anniversary of their debut album (and mid-2000s indie classic) Apologies to the Queen Mary, which was celebrated with anniversary pieces, a party at Baby's All Right, and more.

Continue reading "Operators (Wolf Parade, Handsome Furs) debut new songs in KEXP session, touring (dates, video)"

by Andrew Sacher

photo: Operators at T5 earlier this month (more by Amanda Hatfield)

Operators, the current band of Dan Boeckner (Wolf Parade, Handsome Furs, Divine Fits), put out EP 1 last year and are planning to release their debut full length this year. Ahead of that though, they've dropped a new single, "Ecstasy In My House." It's brighter and bigger sounding than anything on the EP, and unmistakably the work of Boeckner. Check it out below.

As discussed, they've got a tour with The New Pornographers coming up, but unfortunately no NYC show scheduled at the moment. They were last here opening for Future Islands at Terminal 5 earlier this month.

Tour dates and the new song below...

Continue reading "Operators release new single; tour with New Pornographers starts soon (updated dates, stream)"

photos by Amanda Hatfield

"Future Islands was so good last night. Incredible energy and so much booty shaking. The man has soul." - Jett Wells

"Probably written more words on this band than any other over the years, but let's say it again: Future Islands are something special." - @cmgzine

"Omar Souleyman and his serious live clapping giving me everything" - Carrie Wilds

Future Islands
Omar Souleyman

Long-running, but more popular than ever, Baltimore's dancing synth-pop act Future Islands came to NYC last night (8/7) for a free show at the House of Vans. The bill was filled out by a trio of excellent pop-minded acts: Syrian pop singer Omar Souleyman, Dan Boeckner's (Wolf Parade, Divine Fits) new act Operators and local indie pop act Mas Ysa. Not surprisingly, the show was already near capacity by the time the first opener went on around 7pm. Those who RSVP'd but didn't get there early enough were being turned away all night.

Omar is a great opener for Future Islands because Omar doesn't do much. It's hard to tell if the deadpan thing is his shtick, if he's just phoning it in, or if he's just reacting to a crowd full of non-dancers. He walks around the stage in sunglasses, sometimes staring at the not-dancing crowd as he croons. His signature moves are moving his outreached arms up and down and clapping to get the crowd energized and moving. Backed only by a keyboard player and/or track, his music is booming, loud and sounds great. And It would be a great dance party if people danced, or maybe if Omar did.

Future Islands frontman Samuel T. Herring on the other hand is a dancing machine, a living meme, a sex machine. Smiling, chatting, crooning and dancing while backed by a very able and seasoned band. The crowd goes nuts and rightfully so (even with the muddy, poorly-mixed sound in the House of Vans warehouse that kind of ruined it for me, as I stood towards the back). The large, enthusiastic crowd, drunk on free Shiner beer, cheered before and after every song, and even more when Sam showed off his special moves, and even more when hit single "Seasons" came up in the Singles-heavy set list.

House of Vans is a spacious, corporate-funded, skate park and event venue in warehouse located in the heart of hip Greenpoint/Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Future Islands know the neighborhood well, or at least certain places in the neighborhood like the small, long-running DIY venue called Death By Audio that they've played many times, and that Sam gave a shoutout to from the stage (It was hard to understand but he said, but it was something about going there the night before because it's the only place he knows).

For Operators, it was their 2nd-ever NYC show. Their first was the BrooklynVegan Northside showcase. House of Vans ended up being the first show of a Future Islands and Operators tour together. They'll hit Millvale, PA tonight. Check out all the dates for that tour, as well as the rest of the pictures from last night's House of Vans show, an Instagram video featuring some of his moves, and a stream of Vince Clarke's new remix of "Doves", below...

Continue reading "Future Islands & Operators began tour @ House of Vans w/ Omar Souleyman & Mas Ysa (pics, dates, new Erasure remix)"

photos by Amanda Hatfield, words by Pink Baby

Operators / Little Big League / Motion Studies @ Baby's All Right 6/13/2013
Little Big League
Motion Studies

The music portion of the 2014 Northside Festival kicked into high gear on Friday (6/13), as did Mother Nature, dumping buckets of rain on us, and postponing The War on Drugs big outdoor show. In the dry (but still moist) confines of Baby's All Right, BrooklynVegan had our official showcase and we were lucky enough to have the NYC debut of Dan Boeckener's new band Operators, plus Philadelphia's Little Big League and Brooklyn band Motion Studios. Pictures from the show are in this post.

The evening started with Motion Studies, which on record is mostly Tyler McCauley (who plays in a few other bands too) but live was a seven-piece outfit. (It did not include, however, Nick Sylvester who runs GODMODE records and plays on some Motion Studies tracks.) There's shades of danceable mid-'00s DFA but also harder rock and softer rock (they shouted out Michael McDonald before one song). Whatever sound they're doing, they definitely give it their all.

Little Big League were up next. They were having some technical problems that led to lengthy pauses between songs, but they rocked hard when they were on. When singer Michelle Zauner (aka Japanese Breakfast) wails, both on guitar and voice, this band is really a live force. They have a new split 7" with Ovlov and just released a song from that today. Stream it (via Wondering Sound) below.

Operators were the main event. "This is our fourth or fifth show ever. For us to be able to play it in New York is kind of incredible," Dan Boeckner told the crowd at Baby's All Right. That might be true of most new bands, but maybe not one fronted by the guy from Wolf Parade, Handsome Furs, and Divine Fits. Still, Boeckner seemed genuinely stoked to be playing this show, beaming and sweaty. Fans of his other projects would have no trouble realizing Operators -- featuring Divine Fits drummer Sam Brown (also of New Bomb Turks) and Devojka -- was a Boeckner band, not straying too far from the dancerock he made with Handsome Furs or Divine Fits. And that husky voice is instantly recognizable as well. Even though Operators have only released one song to the public so far, the packed-in crowd was definitely into it, dancing, cheering, and left wanting more.

Speaking of more, lots more pics from the whole show are below...

Continue reading "Operators made their NYC debut at BrooklynVegan Northside showcase w/ Little Big League and Motion Studies (pics)"

Dan w/ Handsome Furs in Austin in 2011 (more by Tim Griffin)

Operators, the new band of Dan Boeckner (Wolf Parade, Handsome Furs, Divine Fits), have been prepping their debut album and now they've finally released a track from it, "True." It's not too far removed from the dancey stuff on Handsome Furs' last album, and you can check it out for yourself below.

Operators make their NYC debut on Friday the 13th at Baby's All Right for the BrooklynVegan Northside showcase with Little Big League and Motion Studies. Tickets are still available and a limited amount of Northside badges will be welcome.

Song stream below...

Continue reading "Operators (Dan Boeckner of Wolf Parade, Handsome Furs, Divine Fits) release new song, "True" (listen)"

Dan Boeckner w/ Handsome Furs in 2011 (more by Tim Griffin)
Dan Boeckner

Brooklyn's Northside Festival is just around the corner (June 12-15) and we're proud to last-minute-announce that the official BrooklynVegan showcase will happen on Friday the 13th at Baby's All Right. It's an early show (8 PM doors, over by 11), and will be the NYC live debut of Operators, the new band of Dan Boeckner (Wolf Parade, Handsome Furs, Divine Fits) with his Divine Fits bandmate Sam Brown (also of New Bomb Turks) and Devojka. There's two openers TBA, and $15 advance tickets are on sale now. Limited Northside badges also welcome. 21+.

Devojka (of Operators), Meredith Graves (of Perfect Pussy) & friend (via)

Operators, whose upcoming album will have guest vocals from Perfect Pussy's Meredith Graves (picture from the studio above), played their first-ever show this past November in San Jose, and last month they made their Canadian debut during Canadian Music Week. One of their shows was at the Silver Dollar which The Toronto Star caught and wrote:

Operators, rounded out by enigmatic Macedonian electronics whiz Devojka, came into CMW hard, though. The trio's first, utterly blazing midnight set at the Dollar on Thursday left a representative sample of Toronto's music-industry intelligentsia -- label reps, promoters, festival programmers, publicists, bloggers, critics and jaded scenesters in general -- tizzying about in a froth of unanimous excitement this writer has rarely witnessed in his two decades on the job.

Operators slayed, in other words. I went back for the other two shows just to make sure I wasn't delusional, and I wasn't alone. There were numerous fellow "three-peats" in the room on Saturday, and by then pretty much every friend with whom I'd witnessed the first show had returned for a second taste with at least one other friend in tow. Clearly, Operators were the CMW band to beat this year.

That show was also the one where fellow Canadian band Japandroids joined Dan Boeckner & co. joined them for a cover of Wolf Parade's "This Heart's On Fire." You can watch a video of that, with a video of one of their original songs, below.

Dan was also recently interviewed by Noisey, and discussed the new band's sound:

My main impression of Operators' sound is how direct and immediate it is. It's really hook-heavy. Of course your past projects have been pop-oriented to varying degrees, but this seems like a more aggressive step in that direction. Why did you decide to go down that route?

I felt like I needed to push myself after the Divine Fits record. I really liked that record, and there was a vibe to it, but given what was going on in my personal life when I recorded it... the songs that I contributed to that record were really dark. I toured the record and I cheered up a lot. With Operators, the gear lends itself to repetitive grooves, and I've always loved pop music. I was like, okay, I'm going to push myself with the vocals and the melodies of these songs. If we're going to have the same bass line running through this song, we're going to need a keyboard hook in it, there needs to be a vocal hook in it, and it needs to be really, really direct. It needs to be immediately accessible. I just really didn't want to make a record that was ponderous, like a think piece record. I wanted to make something that people could dance to, that had a ton of weird, noisy crap going on, but at its core was pop music. That's what I wanted with the band. We experimented with s lot of different formats, and this is what we hit on.

The band also have an upcoming appearance scheduled for Sled Island.

Watch those videos below...

Continue reading "Dan Boeckner's band Operators making NYC debut at BrooklynVegan Northside show; Meredith Graves on album"

Divine Fits in Times Square (more by Amanda Hatfield)
Divine Fits

As Divine Fits members Britt Daniel (of Spoon) and Dan Boeckner (of Wolf Parade) told NY1 backstage at the recent Divine Fits show in Times Square, Dan and Divine Fits drummer Sam Brown are apparently working on yet another project called Operators. Dan also told CBC about this new band all the way back at Coachella...

"It's a real mix of like electronics and lots of live drums and guitar. I'm kind of tapping into my ... I listened to a lot of Fugazi when I was a kid, so it's that plus my love of New Order. That's kind of how it's shaking up."

And the 35-year-old has no intention of slowing down any time soon.

"I feel lucky to be able to be creative for a living. That's a luxury, considering the economy is in the toilet. If I get tired and I'm at the studio and I'm like, 'Oh God, it's three in the morning, I've got to finish this song,' I'm like, 'Well, at least I'm not working at a telemarketing company any more,'" he said.

Exclaim has more:
...the Wolf Parade alumnus confirms that he's already begun demo sessions for the previously hinted-at project at his current home in San Jose, and he's recording the material on a recently acquired Tascam 8-track from the '80s.

"I found one in the box for $100 with the original manual -- the manual's explaining tape technology. It's pretty great," he says.


"Operators is becoming more and more a combination of everything I've done since i started playing music professionally," he explains. "There's elements of punk rock, which I've always loved, though that's a pretty broad genre."

Meanwhile, Sam Brown is getting back with his band New Bomb Turks for a show at The Bell House in Brooklyn on 1/18/14. Tickets are on sale now.

Divine Fits have nothing else coming up at the moment, but also recently played the first weekend of ACL and a last minute show at the Parish in Austin after their show scheduled for the 2nd week of ACL was cancelled due to rain. Like the CBGB Fest show in Times Square, that small Austin one was free.

Continue reading "Dan Boeckner & Sam Brown working on 'Operators'; New Bomb Turks announce Brooklyn show"

photos by Dana (distortion) Yavin (more at BV Chicago)

Stone Roses / How to Destroy Angels / Johnny Marr
Coachella 2013 - Day 1
Coachella 2013 - Day 1
Coachella 2013 - Day 1

Coachella 2013 is underway and streaming live. if I had to choose a theme musically for day one (Friday), it would have to be new, solo and side projects. The NY Times agrees...

Friday's lineup was teeming with such line-jumpers, performing with various degrees of laurel-resting. Early in the day came the Shouting Matches, a shambolic blues-esque outfit whose sales pitch is that it includes Justin Vernon of Bon Iver. The group took almost a half-hour for sound check, and its set was almost as loose. Mr. Vernon, such a precise and processed singer in Bon Iver, was here far more at ease, pushing his vocals no harder than the amiable songs demanded.

Later, in the dance-centric Sahara tent, Dog Blood performed a loud but not thunderous set. It's a collaborative project of Skrillex and Boys Noize, and does not quite live up to Skrillex's typical punishment or Boys Noize's characteristic exuberance.

There was also Divine Fits (Britt Daniel of Spoon + Dan from Wolf Parade), Deathfix (Brendan Canty of Fugazi on drums), Grinderman with Nick Cave, Johnny Marr of the Smiths, Trent Reznor of NIN in How to Destroy Angels (who made their live debut days earlier), Jello Biafra of the Dead Kennedys with his band The Guantanamo School of Medicine, and more. And of course reunions and britrock galore with Blur, The Stone Roses, Sparks, and Jurassic 5 all also playing Friday. Here are our pictures from day one (which do not include Polica, but check out our instagram for a shot of Justin Vernon joining them on stage).

UPDATE: Day Two pictures are HERE and Day Three pictures are HERE.

Day One pics continue at BV Chicago and below...

Continue reading "Coachella 2013 Day 1 photos (Stone Roses, Blur, Trent Reznor, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Divine Fits, Sparks, Johnny Marr, more)"

photos by Amanda Hatfield; words by Bill Pearis

Divine Fits at Music Hall of Williamsburg 9/10/2012
Divine Fits

We've known about Divine Fits for a while, songs have been trickling out since early this summer and their terrific album has been out for a couple weeks now. Some of us even saw them in Austin and Chicago. But it took me seeing them live last night (9/9) at Music Hall of Williamsburg -- their NYC debut -- to realize that this is not just some offshoot supergroup timekiller project from guys in Spoon and Wolf Parade/Handsome Furs. Divine Fits are the real deal and their show is easily one of my favorites of the year to date.

Divine Fits bring together two like-minded souls (and voices) in Dan Boeckner and Britt Daniel who had giant grins on their faces the whole show, feeding off a legitimately pumped crowd. "You're too kind, really," Boeckner sheepishly said at one point, seeming a little astonished at the audience's reaction to "My Love is Real," "Would That Not Be Nice" and "The Salton Sea." Daniel, meanwhile, was clearly having a blast and it was cool to watch him digging the sounds the rest of the band were making. Maybe it's puppy love, but Divine Fits were a marriage made in heaven and this was definitely a honeymoon show.

Speaking of digging the band, the contributions of the other two members of Divine Fits should not be dimissed. New Bomb Turks' Sam Brown is a machine behind the kit, and keyboardist Alex Fischel's dexterous style is integral to the band's sound. The group ripped through the entirety of their album (which includes Rowland S. Howard's "Shivers," the encore last night) plus two covers: a nervy but faithful read of Tom Petty's "You Got Lucky" and Wipers' "Doom Town" that fit in seamlessly with the band's two sides (dancing and rocking out).

Divine Fits will be back in NYC on their tour with Cold Cave which hits October 21 at Webster Hall and tickets for that show are still available. The setlist and more pictures from the Music Hall of Williamsburg show, including opener Sean Bones, are below.

Continue reading "Divine Fits played Music Hall of Williamsburg with Sean Bones (pics, review, setlist)"

Divine Fits in Austin in July (more by Tim Griffin)
Divine Fits

As mentioned, Divine Fits (the new project of Spoon's Britt Daniel, Wolf Parade/Handsome Furs' Dan Boeckner, and New Bomb Turks' Sam Brown) will be touring this year and playing NYC on September 9 at Music Hall of Williamsburg with Sean Bones. That show has long sold out but the band just added another much larger show in NYC which happens on October 21 at Webster Hall with Cold Cave, who will be supporting them for a portion of the upcoming tour. Tickets for that show go on sale Friday (9/7) at noon with an AmEx presale starting Wednesday (9/5) at noon. An updated list of dates is below.

Divine Fits released their debut album, A Thing Called Divine Fits, last week (8/28) via Merge. You can check the album out on Spotify and order it from the Merge webstore. A stream of album track, "Would That Not Be Nice," and a list of updated dates are below.

Meanwhile, Cold Cave have a new line-up featuring London May (Samhain), Hunter Burgan (AFI), Dave Stone (LCD Soundsystem / Melvins), and Cody Votolato (Blood Brothers). The band will head into the studio in November to begin work on the new CC album. There are also a few Cold Cave headlining shows in addition to their dates with Divine Fits and those are listed below.

Continue reading "Divine Fits add dates with Cold Cave, playing Webster Hall; Cold Cave announce new line-up"

Sandro Perri
Sandro Perri

Toronto art pop musician Sandro Perri has a few dates scheduled to take place surrounding his appearance at this year's FYF Fest. They're a bit scattered at the moment so it looks like more might be revealed, but we know that one of them is a NYC show which happens on September 20 at Mercury Lounge. Tickets for that show are on sale now. All currently known dates are listed below.

Sandro Perri is also one of the many musicians being featured on the new Arthur Russell tribute album, This Is How We Walk on the Moon, that AIDS organization Red Hot (who are also responsible for Dark Was the Night, Red Hot + Rio and many other compilations) and Pitchfork are putting out. Sandro will join Robyn, Cut Copy, Hot Chip, Dan Boeckner, Twin Shadow, Washed Out, Laurel Halo, Sam Amidon, Devendra Banhart, Olof Arnalds, Jose Gonzalez, Thao with the Get Down Stay Down, Chad VanGaalen, Glen Hansard, and many others for the album. The project is being funded on kickstarter. The Kickstarter video and a list of all participating artists is below.

Earlier this year, DFA put out a remix 12" of material from Sandro's 2011 LP, Impossible Spaces. The stream of Eluvium's remix of "Changes," a list of all currently known Sandro Perri dates, and the Arthur Russell tribute info are below.

Continue reading "Sandro Perri touring, featured on Arthur Russell tribute w/ Cut Copy, Hot Chip, Twin Shadow, Washed Out & more (dates)"

by Tim Griffin

Divine Fits @ The Continental Club - 7/31/2012
Divine Fits @ The Continental Club - 7/31/2012

Tonight (8/1), indie rock supergroup Divine Fits (Britt Daniel from Spoon, Dan Boeckner from Wolf Parade and Handsome Furs, and Sam Brown from New Bomb Turks - and auxiliary member Alex Fischel) are set to play their official first show at a sold-out Beerland in Austin, TX.

But last night (7/31), they got together and played a secret show at Austin's The Continental Club. Billed as 'The Hot Skull', they were sandwiched between Austin's The Laughing (who were playing their first show) and TV Torso. Divine Fits ran through the almost the entirety  of their forthcoming Merge debut (out Aug. 28, which includes a cover of Nick Cave's "Shivers") plus a take on Tom Petty's 'You Got Lucky'; pretty sure all in attendance felt like they did.

As for the rest of the country, Divine Fits haven't announced a full tour yet, but they do have a few dates set up, including stops in the members' respective hometowns. They play Dan's homebase, Montreal, on Friday, August 3 (not part of Osheaga Fest), and visit Brown's Columbus, OH stomping grounds on August 6. They also play Chicago on August 5 and Salt Lake on Aug. 9.

UPDATE: Brooklyn and Toronto shows were also announced.

All tour dates are below, along with more pictures (and video) Divine Fits, The Laughing and TV Torso below...

Continue reading "Divine Fits played a secret show at the Continental Club in Austin, their first-ever live performance (pics, video, setlist)"

Divine Fits

Britt Daniel (Spoon), Dan Boeckner (Wolf Parade) and Sam Brown (New Bomb Turks) have confirmed the existence of their new band, Divine Fits.

Divine Fits' as yet untitled debut album will be released later this year by Merge Records in the U.S. The album was was produced by Nick Launay.

Further details regarding the record's release date, live dates, etc. will be announced as they are confirmed.

This news comes just a few days after Dan announced that his other band Handsome Furs was over.

Handsome Furs in Austin in 2011 (more by Tim Griffin)
Handsome Furs

With a heavy heart the time has come to let all of you know that Handsome Furs are no more.

The most important thing that needs to be said right now is how extremely grateful we are to all the fans all over the world that showered us with love and support over the years. Thank you for everything! It's been an incredible 6 years and we owe it all to you.



Sadly, Handsome Furs, the project of Wolf Parade's Dan Boeckner and his wife Alexie Perry, posted the above message to their website last night, announcing their end as a band, with no other elaboration. This announcement comes almost a year after Wolf Parade played their last show "for a long time."

In related news, you can catch Spencer Krug's Moonface project on tour this spring/summer. That tour includes the previously mentioned NYC show at Bowery Ballroom on June 30 with La Big Vic. Tickets are still available.

Some Handsome Furs videos from 2011's Sound Kapital below...

Continue reading "Handsome Furs break up"

photos by Tim Griffin

Handsome Furs @ the Mohawk
Handsome Furs

For their part, the Furs are eager to keep returning to places where few other Western bands ever venture, to maintain the friendships they've forged and the fanbases they've built. The tours sharpen the couple's perspective on their art, their politics, and the Handsome Furs' existence itself. Says Boeckner, "Instead of going into this band being like 'We're against this! We're against that!', it's, 'We're against these things, but we also feel happy and positive that we're able to make music.'" [National Post]
The Handsome Furs are currently on a massive tour that hit Bowery Ballroom back on 8/18, and visited Austin, Texas for two shows yesterday (8/26). The first one happened inside Waterloo Records. The second was last night at Mohawk. We have pictures from both in this post.

And though we don't know the venue yet, we do know that Dan Boeckner and Alexei Perry will be back in NYC in October for CMJ UPDATE: Handsome Furs are not actually coming to CMJ anymore. All tour dates and more Austin pictures below...

Continue reading "Handsome Furs played the Mohawk & Waterloo Records (pics), keep on touring (dates)"

photos by Toby Tenenbaum

Handsome Furs

Handsome Furs & recent Sub Pop-signee Thee Satisfaction played a show at Bowery Ballroom in NYC last night (8/18), part of a long ongoing tour for the lovebird headliners. More pictures from the show below...

Continue reading "Handsome Furs & Thee Satisfaction played Bowery Ballroom (pics)"

photos by Tim Griffin

Handsome Furs @ The Great Escape
Handsome Furs

Speaking of Wolf Parade, Handsome Furs revealed the NSFW album art for their third album Sound Kapital (below) which comes out June 28 via Sub Pop. They've also made another song from the album available in exchange for your email address. Check out "Repatriated" below, and "What About Us" here.

Dan Boeckner and Alexei Perry recently got back from a trip to Brighton, England where they played the M For Montrea/BrooklynVegan Great Escape showcase at The B'ton Coalition on Friday, May 13th. Pictures from the UK show are in this post.

Their next show will take place in Toronto as part of the NXNE Festival to which they were recently added....

NORTH BY NORTHEAST announces the third wave of bands for the 17th edition of the festival, taking over Toronto June 13-19, 2011. Tickets are now available online at www.nxne.com.

NXNE has just confirmed that hardcore heroes FUCKED UP and glam gallant DIAMOND RINGS will join the Yonge-Dundas Square (YDS) line-up that includes previously announced acts such as Devo, Stars, The Pharcyde, Land of Talk, Digable Planets, Descendents, OFF! and Men Without Hats.

Men Without Hats will also play an intimate club show on Thursday, June 16 at The Great Hall in addition to their YDS performance - and Fucked Up headlines the NOW Magazine showcase on the same night, at Wrongbar.

Newly announced as part of the NXNE Music Festival are HANDSOME FURS, previewing tracks from the new album Sound Kapital, GRIMES with her genre-bending pop, retro Manhattan garage-pop stars THE POSTELLES, Los Angeles four-piece SUPERHUMANOIDS, Portland folk outfit HORSE FEATHERS, Pixies tour mates IMAGINARY CITIES, action comic-punk band PEELANDER Z, Nashville garage punks HEAVY CREAM and critically acclaimed one-man band GUARDS.

All dates, more Great Escape pictures, album art and tracklist, and the MP3 below...

Continue reading "Handsome Furs played the Great Escape, added to NXNE, made NSFW cover art, etc (pics, dates & a new MP3)"

by Benjamin Lozovsky


Spoon has made a long and fruitful career out of simultaneously fulfilling and denying the expectations of fans, critics and record labels. On Friday night (3/26), the band greatly exceeded its own expectations by headlining a sold-out Radio City Music Hall.

It was a big deal for a band that's taken small but inquisitive steps over 16 years and 7 records. This show came in support of their latest effort, Transference, a moody yet powerful record of micro-experimentation that ultimately saw the band reinvigorating their inner scruffiness (they celebrated the release of that record by playing a much smaller NYC venue in January). But unlike some recent tour dates which saw Transference heavy setlists, on this night Spoon played a well curated sampling of many of their past gems; it felt like a therapeutic nod to history for a band eager to revisit the moments that brought them this far.

But it wasn't just looking back for the fuzzy feeling of nostalgia. Britt Daniel and co. breathed new sophisticated life into songs like "I Summon You" and "Someone Something." The latter was sung as a duet with Eleanor Friedberger of the Fiery Furnaces, one of several guests (Dan Boeckner of Wolf Parade and Stephen Patterson of White Rabbits) who appeared during the show. Dan and Eleanor performed one of their own songs with the group as well as assisting on Spoon numbers, as the headliner graciously and generously dolloped the trademark Spoon appliqué onto numbers like "Waiting To Know You" and "Modern World."

Radio City Music Hall is often a tough sell for rock fans, and Friday was no exception. It wasn't until midway through Spoon's first set, when the band was augmented by a seven piece horn section for numbers like "Don't You Evah" from their brass heavy 2007 album Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga, that the crowd finally took notice of the scorching effort brought forth by the band members and joined in on the revelry of this potential poster child for indie rock perseverance affixing its name to such an illustrious marquee.

Attempting to warm up the crowd were lively but somewhat underdeveloped The Strange Boys (sans new member Jenna Thornhill-DeWitt) and Deerhunter. Many attendants preferred to mingle in the gold-plated lobby of Radio City rather than check out the openers, but neither band did everything they could to completely win over the crowd either. Deerhunter didn't outright disappoint, but they didn't sound as impactful as normal. For the majority of their performance, the powerful streams of noise normally associated with the band were muted in the large hall. Instead the bare trappings of their songwriting were exposed, which might have been an interesting contrast for a frequent listener, but to the uninitiated came across as listless and at times sluggish. When Bradford Cox and his bandmates played to their more expansive and propulsive leanings though, things improved. They finally turned up the volume and intensity in the finale which was topped off with a long cacophonously exciting outro. Then they seemed to be having fun as eccentric noise makers in such a staid arena.

Still neither of the younger bands could match the passion of the older Spoon, who now might be considered elder statesmen of the genre they often like to eschew connections with. Daniel has an ageless croon, even if it faltered occasionally Friday. One couldn't help but feel Spoon could go on forever taking small steps at musical progression and growth. As a performance though, this was one giant leap.

More tour dates HERE. The full Radio City setlist with more pictures and some videos, below...

Continue reading "Spoon (and Dan Boeckner & Eleanor Friedberger), Deerhunter & the Strange Boys @ Radio City Music Hall - pics & video"

photos by Alex Reside

The Handsome Furs

"the show was AMAZING! i think from my posts on this board it's apparent that i am of the krug persuasion (what can i say, i dig accordions and marimba) but dan may be my new hero, and alexei my heroine. so much energy and audience dance parties galore.

the best part though, the two of them are just so HUMBLE and seemed genuinely honored that so many folks came out to see them. alexei kept putting her hands to her heart as if she couldn't believe where she was...it's just so great to see bands that truly appreciate what they've achieved, and to see audiences having such a good time...everybody wins.

and they are just so fricking CUTE and lovely together. at one point they touched foreheads and gave each other big happy excited faces - it was such an "awwww" moment (who knew dan boeckner was capable of soliciting an "aw?")" [stuntgirl]

That review and the pictures in this post are from the Handsome Furs show at Bowery Ballroom last night (7/8). Tonight (7/9), they do it again with the same openers (Dri and The Cinnamon Band) at Music Hall of Williamsburg in Brooklyn.

As stuntgirl pointed out, it was a great show. I completely agree with the humble/appreciation thing. Dan is also so funny and still talking about how NYC, and especially Bowery Ballroom, makes him nervous because of the time in 2005(!) that Wolf Parade played there and the Internet talked about how drunk he was the next day (sorry Dan!). More pictures from last night's show below...

Continue reading "Handsome Furs, Dri & the Cinnamon Band @ Bowery Ballroom - pics "

words & photos by Dominick Mastrangelo

DOWNLOAD: Handsome Furs - I'm Confused (MP3)

Handsome Furs

The Handsome Furs played to an enthusiastic, sold-out crowd at the Mercury Lounge on Friday. Dancing and even trivia were on order as the Montreal, husband and wife duo of Dan Boeckner and Alexei Perry played in support of their upcoming record Face Control (Sub Pop). Boeckner explained that certain label and publicity folks were uneasy with the band selling copies of their new record in advance (it hits streets on March 10.) So, Boeckner and Perry held rounds of trivia between songs to win a copy of the new cd. Question: Who is Wayne Coyne's favorite Montreal band? Correct answer... Arcade Fire.

The Hundred in the Hands and a Kyp Malone-less Iran opened the show. More pictures below...

Continue reading "Handsome Furs, Iran & The Hundred in the Hands @ Mercury Lounge, NYC - pics"

DOWNLOAD: Handsome Furs - What We Had (old MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Handsome Furs - Cannot Get, Started (old MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Swan Lake - All Fires (old MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Swan Lake - The Freedom (old MP3)

Handsome Furs

FACE CONTROL is the second album by Montreal's Handsome Furs, 2007's Plague Park was their first. Alexei Perry and Dan Boeckner wrote the songs on FACE CONTROL together. The album was recorded and mixed by Arlen Thompson at Mount Zoomer. It was mastered by Harris Newman at Hotel2Tango. It will be released on March 10th, 2009 [by Sub Pop].
Handsome Furs

That makes two-upcoming Wolf Parade-related albums in March....

The release of SWAN LAKE's new album is imminent! It is called "Enemy Mine", to be released on Jagjaguwar on March 24th, 2009 (March 23rd in the UK).

Spencer KrugFor those unfamiliar, SWAN LAKE is the musical group featuring celebrated songwriter-mystics Daniel Bejar (of Destroyer and New Pornographers), Spencer Krug (of Sunset Rubdown and Wolf Parade) and Carey Mercer (of Frog Eyes and Blackout Beach).

Together they recorded Enemy Mine, their nine-song second album, in Victoria, British Columbia, in early 2008, a little more than a year after the release of their well-received debut collaboration, "Beast Moans", also on Jagjaguwar.

While their debut album was a beautifully-weaved mash-up of their disparate song-writing styles, often with layer upon layer of various melodies and stylistics thrown into a collaborative cauldron to magical, and at times discordant effect, their second album "Enemy Mine" reflects a more stripped-down, more deliberate approach to collaboration. It's as if they really tried to just make nice songs together. To quote Krug, "There's architecture here." Not that the lyric is about collaboration--it fits nicely though.

It is the band's contention that this is the first known use of a "court painting" as a record cover used in popular music. As a result of this enthusiasm, the band had planned on calling the album "Before the Law", a beloved Kafka parable and a reference to this court painting. However, the band is tired of being tagged as "literary", so they dubbed the record "Enemy Mine", a beloved movie from Bejar's youth, and a good metaphor for collaboration.

Both new album tracklistings, and Handsome Furs tour dates (including SXSW), below...

Continue reading "new Handsome Furs & Swan Lake albums, MP3 & tour dates"

by BrooklynVegan Mike

"For me the most depressing, the worse thing, that has happened with Wolf Parade, is how the media pit me and Spencer against each other."

Dan Boeckner (Wolf Parade) @ Terminal 5 (more by Kyle Reinford)

We first spoke with Dan Boeckner from Wolf Parade two years ago. He had just had a rough set and a kerfuffle with a mid-90s college act. Last year we caught up with him again - that time with Alexei Perry and we talked Handsome Furs. Another year has passed and the ever prolific Boeckner (and the rest of Wolf Parade) are back with a new record called At Mount Zoomer. We spoke with Dan AGAIN - this time after Wolf Parade's biggest Montreal (August 3rd) show to date (a show that was still smaller than the two NYC shows they played a few days earlier). We talked about the NYC shows, the record, the upcoming Furs record, Fine Young Cannibals, and those persistent Dan/Spencer rivalry questions.


Before we talk Wolf Parade, I just read online that there is already a title for the new Handsome Furs record?

Continue reading "another interview w/ Dan Boeckner of Wolf Parade and Handsome Furs"